Photovoltaic concentration in 2012
Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) Technology as an innovative solar energy production methodology has been around since 1970, since the United States government began researching this technology at Sandia National Labs, Livermore, California. Traditionally, flat panel systems are a more popular method of harnessing solar energy. CPV technology has been a boon for geographies where real estate becomes a constraint.
However, 2012 will be a difficult year for CPV technology. The continuing drop in prices for crystalline PV modules has led CPV developers to diversify into emerging markets and CPV is also having a notable presence in Mexico, India and Chile. As in 2011, CPV will also have a difficult market situation in 2012; Since traditional CPV markets are not only saturated, crystalline PV is also fierce competition.
CPV vs. The photovoltaic cost division decreases
CPV technology attempts to concentrate greater amounts of sunlight than normal incidence by using acrylic Fresnel lenses and variants so that there is an increase in solar energy production, while heat sinks cool overheated solar cells. Also, CPV proves to be a low cost production, costing on average $ 1 USD / Watt compared to $ 3-5 USD / Watt for the module alone. However, GTM Research senior energy analysts reveal that CPV will find it even more difficult this year than it was in 2010 when it competes head-to-head with flat-plate PV, as these prices have fallen from $ 3.50 per watt in 2010. to $ 2.50 per watt in 2011. and is likely to drop further in 2012.
Therefore, this has led CPV technologists to move into markets, where CPV offers reasonable market performance. Topping this list is Italy, where ‘CPV feed rates are exciting’. As solar development in Italy is moving away from ‘ground-mounted installations’, CPV provides useful infill, generating rich feed rates in small areas.
CPV in 2012
GTM Research analysts believe that CPV in 2012 will depend entirely on the technology that emerging markets adopt to generate solar electricity. Industry experts believe that there is growing inertia towards the adoption of CSP in various large-scale productions in African countries: Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, as industrial companies are moving towards solar production and CSP technology is very similar to the type of generation they use. they are already proficient with.
However, what is a cause for concern for CPV in 2012 is the growth of CSP as an alternative to CPV, generating two to three times better job opportunities almost on par with flat plate PV.
Earlier, a principal analyst at GTM Research says that again, CPV also has a good chance of breaking even with respect to CSP, if large emerging markets can offer large contracts, provided the scale is sufficient, the CPV would also be effective.
This has also led service providers to add CPV as an additional technology service, as there could be a role for multi-solar hybrid technologies.
Concentrated PV technology can meet the challenges of next year if it wins big contracts in emerging markets. CPV would also have to contend with waning interest in solar power in some of its traditional markets.